THE REMARKABLE “HEMISPHERES” OF TERZA LOGGIA: HOW RENAISSANCE PAINTED THE MODERN WORLD / INSIDE THE VATICAN PALACES # 4

Terza Loggia (Third Loggia) is another stunning place in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City, Rome. On its walls we admire maps of the modern world painted between 1560 and 1585. They include the wonderful Emispheres, the frescoes designed by Ignazio Danti (1582 ca). I recently had the opportunity to visit Terza Loggia (I was in Rome to meet Pope Francis for the presentation of “Francis”, the illustrated and historical biography I wrote about him). I’m so glad to share some pics and news I found in a very interesting research by Francesca Fiorani (“Cycles of Painted Maps in the Renaissance”).

The first map cycles with maps of the modern world were painted for the papal residence at the Vatican between 1560 and 1585. Pope Pius IV commissioned the French cartographer Etienne Du Pérac to prepare the cartoons for thirteen modern maps of Europe, which were to be painted in the east wing of the Terza Loggia, the third story of the Renaissance addition to the papal residence Du Pérac arranged the maps according to the order of Ptolemy, but based their cartographic content on Gerardus Mercator’s map of Europe (1554) and additional modern maps.

On the wall above the maps are landscape views related to the mapped territories, while on the vaults of the loggia are inscriptions commemorating papal deeds, along with scenes painted by Lorenzo Sabatini illustrating examples of good and bad life. Unfinished at Pius IV’s death and untouched by his successor, Pius V, the Terza Loggia was completed around 1580, when Gregory XIII entrusted the Dominican polymath Ignazio Danti with the design of a world map divided into two hemispheres and ten maps of Africa, Asia, and America, which were painted by Giovanni Antonio Vanosino. Danti, who had served Gregory XIII in the Galleria delle Carte Geografiche, based the completion of the Terza Loggia on the similar map cycles in the Guardaroba Nuova in Florence that he had made for Cosimo I in the 1560s, a fact attested by comparing the Vatican maps with the earlier Florentine maps.

The maps of the world were complemented by city views that have not survived. Danti was also responsible for the connection between the maps and the other parts of the decoration. On the wall above the maps, a frieze painted by Antonio Tempesta and Mattheus Bril illustrates the procession staged in 1580 for the translation of Gregory of Nazianzus’s body to Saint Peter’s, celebrating Gregory XIII’s wish to reunify believers under the Greek and Roman rites. On the ceiling, scenes of paradise inspired by the breviary, the liturgical text Gregory XIII had reformed in the early 1580s, refer to the papal desire to unify the Catholic liturgy worldwide. The inscriptions commemorating important events of Gregory XIII’s pontificate, also on the ceiling, restate the centrality of Rome to Catholic spirituality.

As a whole, the Terza Loggia celebrates the wish of the post-Tridentine papacy to expand Catholicism universally by reconverting large parts of Europe to the Catholic faith, reaffirming the unity between those under the Greek and Roman rites, and converting the peoples of Africa, Asia, and America. The actions of the Roman pontiffs, recalled metonymically in the frieze of the Gregorian procession and in the inscriptions of papal deeds on the ceiling, took place in Rome, but their effect needed to spread to the world mapped on the walls below. That papal actions were meant to affect the world spiritually rather than politically is made manifest by the scenes from paradise, which crown both the scenes of papal deeds and the maps of the world below.

Following a firm medieval tradition, post-Tridentine popes adopted the language of Renaissance cartography as a vehicle of their ecumenical message. But, unlike their medieval predecessors, they had detailed maps with which to penetrate unknown lands and thus transform the medieval dream into a real program of propagating the faith. Indeed, the use of modern cartography for religious purposes became such a distinctive element of papal iconography that the Terza Loggia, even before its completion, served as a model for Cardinal Farnese’s Sala della Cosmografia discussed earlier. Francesca Fiorani, From “Cycles of Painted Maps in the Renaissance

(4 – To be continued)

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THE TRIUMPH OF RENAISSANCE: THE IMPRESSIVE REGAL ROOM AND DUCAL ROOM / INSIDE THE VATICAN PALACES #3

© Roberto Alborghetti - Sala Regia and Sala Ducale (12)

Sala Regia (Regal Room) and Sala Ducale (Ducal Room) are two beautiful rooms in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. They aren’t generally open to visitors: they usually host consistories, conferences, papal hearings or special events. I recently had the opportunity to visit them (I was in Rome to meet Pope Francis for the presentation of “Francis”, the illustrated and historical biography I wrote about him). Here some news (from New Advent website) about Sala Regia and Sala Ducale. They well represent the triumph of Renaissance.  

The Sala Regia (Regal Room)

 Although not intended as such, this broad room is really an antechamber to the Sistine Chapel, reached by the Scala Regia (Royal Staircase). To the left of the entrance formerly stood the papal throne, which is now at the opposite side before the door leading to the Cappella Paolina. The hall was begun under Paul III by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and was completed in 1573. The elegant barrel-vault is provided with the highly graceful and very impressive plaster decorations of Pierin del Vaga. The stucco ornaments over the doors are by Daniele da Volterra. The longitudinal walls are broken on the one side by two, and on the other by three, large doors, between which Giorgio Vasari and Taddeo Zuccaro have introduced very powerful frescoes, whose effect is more than ornamental. They depict momentous turning-points in the life of the Church, among others the return of Gregory XI from Avignon to Rome, the battle of Lepanto, the raising of the ban from Henry IV, and the reconciliation of Alexander III with Frederick Barbarossa. This hall served originally for the reception of princes and royal ambassadors. Today the consistories are held in it, and an occasional musical recital in the presence of the Pope; during a conclave it is a favourite promenade for the cardinals.

The Sala Ducale (Ducal Room)

The Sala Ducale lies between the Sala Regia and the Loggia of Giovanni da Udine. Formerly there were here two separate halls, which were converted into one by Bernini by the removal of the separating wall (the position of which is still clearly perceptible). The decorative paintings, which are of a purely ornamental nature, are by Raffaellino da Reggio, Sabbatini, and Matthæus Brill. In this impressive hall were formerly held the public consistories for the reception of ruling princes. It now serves occasionally for the reception of pilgrims, the consecration of bishops, when (as rarely happens) this is undertaken by the Pope, or is used for the accommodation of specified divisions of the papal household, when the pope holds a consistory in the Sala Regia, proceeds to the Sistine Chapel, or sets out with great solemnity for St. Peter’s.

(3 – To be continued)

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DRAWINGS FOR PLANTS: 4.000 WORKS FROM ITALIAN STUDENTS ABOUT THE WONDERFUL “PLANET OF FLOWERS AND TREES”

In 2013 Flower Council Holland and Okay! review launched in Italy the 3nd edition of “The Plant I Like” with the goal to reach new generations speaking them about the world of plants and indoor plants, improving knowledges and informations. Kids from infant to secondary schools were involved in a graphic contest about green. Schools were invited to draw plants in every technique, expressing their creativity and imagination… “The Plant I Like” outcome was better than expected. Students sent to promoters more than 4.000 drawings, confirming that the invitation launched by Okay! and Flower CouncilHolland has turned into an opportunity to look around, discover and learn about the wonderful world of plants which  offer color, comfort, serenity and well-being, to people, to environment and to homes. A commission, composed by teachers and educators, selected the best drawings. The schools received a special gift: an incredible plant named “Glowing Star in the Dark” made in Holland by Amigo Plant (http://www.glowingstarinthedark.info/). This plant shines its light through the dark nights; during the day, or in artificial light, this unusual plant stores up the surrounding light, so it can radiate a lovely glow in the dark.

The best drawings were shown during a special event which took place with a huge students participation. Green culture is one of the privileged fields of Okay! magazine. In the last 14 years, with the collaboration of Flower Council Holland, activities were promoted to create new attention and interest in young people. Thousand of kids  approached the world of flowers and plants, receiving impulse to consider the importance of green for social life and for personal well-being. And now, with these thousand of drawings, we may look at the plants through the eyes and the ears of children. But also plants have eyes and ears. Those of children.

“ART AND POLITICS”: SHEPARD FAIREY (OBAMA “HOPE” POSTER CREATOR) MEETS STUDENTS AT “SANTA FE UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN”

Launched in 2011 by the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Artists for Positive Social Change  is a “university-wide series of events, lectures, and performances that highlights one high-profile issue, artist or genre each year.” Inaugurating this five-year initiative, 2011-12 was the year of hip-hop and saw Public Enemy descend on the SFUAD campus for a free concert.  The school hosted a graffiti workshop alongside classes in writing rap lyrics, hip-hop music and breakdancing. The goal was to distill hip-hop as a significant form of communication, as an art form that at its inception “gave voice to voiceless people.” This first year of Artists for Positive Social Change also proved that SFUAD is kinda cool.

Now in its second year, the theme is “Art and Political Activism.” Behold Shepard Fairey, who came to campus last Sunday night (February 17, 2013) for a Q&A with SFUAD’s graphic design department chair, David Grey.  During the week of February 18, Fairey will also designed and painted a permanent outdoor mural on the school campus. This is the artist whose 1990s Andre the Giant sticker went viral before viral meant on the Internet.  It was a different kind of dissemination, one grounded in street art.  He created the sticker while attending the Rhode Island School of Design where his tendencies toward punk, skateboarding and other countercultures were sometimes disparaged by professors.  Fairey admitted that he never thought he’d be taken seriously as a fine artist. If he had, he alleged, it might have paralyzed him.

In 2008, Fairey designed Barack Obama’s Hope Poster, the very icon of Obama’s grassroots energy.  That poster is why Fairey typifies this year’s “art and political activism” theme.  Its impact was immense and although not officially affiliated with the presidential campaign, it alone must have mobilized hundreds of thousands of voters. In Fairey’s words, he is making art for the world he wants to live in.  That alone is inspiration for SFUAD artists.

The Hope Poster’s imagery evolved from yes, an AP photo, but also its subversion of visual culture. In all of his work, the artist pulls from Russian Constructivism, pop art, hip-hop, punk, skateboarding, and artists like Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, and Barbara Kruger.  He raids the cultural image bank and riffs on it, appropriating elements to change the way we see things and ideally even think about things.  ‘Fair use’ copyright battles aside, Fairey asks us to “consume with discretion” and on his website http://www.obeygiant.com/about sites Heidegger’s account of Phenomenology to “enable people to see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured.”

If one thing was clear from listening to Fairey talk, it’s that he knows his culture.  From band trivia and blogging to politics and economics, this guy knows what’s up and he probably has an opinion about it.  He quoted Led Zeppelin, wore a black Ramones t-shirt, spoke openly about “selling out,” patience, his process and how it’s changed with time and the Internet, and when prompted, admitted to being arrested 16 times.  The Greer Garson Theatre was packed with students and community members who lined up for a Q&A that could’ve lasted all night.  Luckily, students have the opportunity all week to ask Fairey questions as he painted an indelible public artwork on the SFUAD campus.

http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/News/NewsRoom/Shepard-Fairey-To-Paint-Mural-On-SFUAD-Campus.aspx

http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/About/ArtistsForPositiveChange.aspx

https://www.facebook.com/santafeuniversity

www.youtube.com/user/SantaFeUniversity

http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/RSS/SFURssFeed.aspx

PABLO PICASSO, BACK TO MILAN : 250 MASTERPIECES FROM THE “NATIONAL PICASSO MUSEUM” IN PARIS INCLUDING PAINTINGS, DRAWINGS, SCULPTURE AND PHOTOGRAPHS

 

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24 ORE CULTURA – Gruppo 24 ORE PRESS OFFICE

MUNICIPALITY OF MILAN PRESS OFFICE

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The Department of Culture, Fashion and Design of the Municipality of Milan, Palazzo Reale and 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE with the Musée National Picasso are pleased to present the great return of Picasso to Milan with a retrospective exhibition realized thanks to the support of Gruppo Unipol. The exhibition will open 20 September 2012 at the Palazzo Reale: “Pablo Picasso. Masterpieces from the National Picasso Museum in Paris”.

Milan is hosting Pablo Picasso’s brilliant and fundamental work for the third time, following the major exhibitions in 1953 and 2001. These two shows coincided with crucial periods both in international politics and everyday life in Milan. And they left their mark – Head of Culture Stefano Boeri emphasizes –  but we do not yet know whether this appointment with Picasso will be another appointment with history for Milan. We do know that organizing this meeting between a major city and the brilliant precursor of contemporary art provided opportunities to reflect on history – as confirmed by the rooms in Palazzo Reale devoted to the preparation of the 1953 exhibition. This show is a tribute to Picasso, to Milan and to the coincidences – never completely accidental – that have characterized the life of a leading interpreter of modern times.”

The exhibition was curated by Anne Baldassari, internationally recognized as one of the most important Picasso scholars and the curator of the Musée National Picasso in Paris, which houses the world’s largest collection of works by the Spanish artist.

With more than two-hundred-fifty works – many of which have not left the Paris museum prior to this global exhibition, for which Milan is the only European venue – including paintings, sculpture, photographs, drawings, illustrated books and prints, the exhibition is a veritable chronological excursus through Picasso’s artistic production, allowing comparison of the techniques and expressive means with which the artist challenged himself over his long career.

Through the unique and exceptional collection of the National Picasso Museum in Paris, the Milan retrospective presents, among the many masterpieces, works that allow the visitor to travel over the history of art through the evolution of the artistic language of this undisputed twentieth-century master, enjoying masterpieces like “The Celestina” (1904), “Man with a mandolin” (1911), “Portrait of Olga” (1918), “Two women running on the beach” (1922), “Paul as Harlequin” (1924), “Portrait of Dora Maar” and “The Supplicant” (1937).

 

As the curator explains in the catalogue, “The collection of the Musée Picasso thus represents Picasso’s work in progress, his surprises, his leaps forward and his regrets, his meanderings and his retreats. Through it one can observe paintings that become sculpture and vice versa in the invention of intermediate dimensions: painting without a background or contours, flat panels like icons, carved wooden pieces illuminated with colour, the optical tricks of collés, tableaux-reliefs and flat constructions, hollow, open, perforated sculptures, filiform spatial graphic works, paintings in the round, models made out of folded paper, plate sheets that have been cut and opened out into space. Even the drawings, the pages of sketchbooks and the engravings converse in a continuous to and fro, to reconstruct the iconographic logic of a narrative that explores all of the possibilities, almost reaching the myth of the birth of images: here one gathers the minute reasons for sequences that go from the identical to the multiple through the intermediate stages that describe, to thousands, this mythographic gesture”.

Picasso is the unquestioned leader of twentieth-century art and embodied its turbulent, innovative spirit.  Born in the Spanish city of Malaga in 1881, after studying art in Barcelona, where he was enrolled in the School of Fine Arts at the young age of thirteen, and in Madrid, he made his first trip to Paris in 1900, the city where art and culture would influence him so enormously as to leave their mark in all of his work. At the time of his death, in Mougins in the south of France in 1973, he had produced more than 50,000 works using diverse languages and artistic means, in a stream of epochal turns and stylistic changes, astonishing testimonies to the private life, civil and political engagement and recherche of an inexhaustible artist.

Within the exhibition – designed by Italo Lupi with Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto and covering more than 2000 square metres on the upper floor of the Palazzo Reale – there will also be documentation of the exhibition that Picasso held in 1953, also at the Palazzo Reale, where the great canvas “Guernica” (1937) was shown in Italy for the first time, in the Sala delle Cariatidi.

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition, with texts by Anne Baldassari, Isabelle Limousin, Virginie Perdrisot, Francesco Poli, Pablo Rossi e Annabelle Ténèze, is published by 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition was published by 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE.

www.mostrapicasso.it

twitter @milanexhibition

OPEN CALL FOR “LANDSCAPE EXPANDED”: ONE MONTH RESIDENCY PROGRAMME FOR ARTISTS IN KUWAIT

 

Landscapes Expanded will support artists to explore contemporary issues intrinsically related to site, space, and place in their field of work. The residency will begin with a three-day workshop that will support artists to develop concepts for their research in the weeks that follow. Throughout the programme participants will benefit from group and individual reviews of their work and guidance from the residency facilitator and visiting contributors.

The residency programme will be led by artist and curator Alia Farid Abdal, who explores personal perspectives of public space and constructed landscapes in her own art work and academic research. The programme will also benefit from insightful contributions from visiting artists and art critics such as British Artist David Rayson, whose work is featured in Out of Britain. Rayson is currently the Professor of Painting at the Royal College of Art, London.

Participants’ work produced during the residency programme will be exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMArt) at the end of October 2012. Chosen works may also be exhibited at a British Council Visual Arts exhibition that will showcase artists from the Gulf at the Brunei Gallery in London in 2015.

Eligibility: This residency is open to practicing artists and creative practitioners (from all disciplines) who are keen to develop the concepts of landscape art in their practice. Applicants must reside in Kuwait, must commit to participate in a three-day workshop (18 th – 20th September 2012) and closing presentation, which will take place on 18 th October 2012. The workshops will be hosted in English, however translators will be available should they be required.

Procedure. Deadline: 5th September 2012 (10am). Please e-mail the following (in English or Arabic) to nadia.elsebai@britishcouncil.org :  Artist C.V.; Up to 10 images of your work with an appendix stating the title, medium, and year the work was executed.; A statement of intent (up to 500 words) explaining why you are applying to the programme and what you hope to obtain from it. Please briefly state what themes you are interested to explore during the residency programme.

Large images will have to be submitted via www.wetransfer.com or any

other host site in which your images can be downloaded directly. Alternatively, you may wish to submit a link to your work online. For videos, please provide links of uploaded material either on youtube or vimeo. Suggested topics for research: Urban Tribes, The politics of dress, – Geopolitics, Landscapes created by advertising, Monuments in the construction of Landscapes and History, The demolished landscape, erasing history, and recuperating memory, Imagined landscapes, futuristic and fictitious.

“I’LL HEAL BY MYSELF”: ON LAKE COMO THE PRESENTATION OF THE NEW EDITED BOOK BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI – THE EXTRAORDINARY AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CESARE FUMAGALLI

LENNO, ON LAKE COMO, WILL HOST THE NATIONAL PRESENTATION OF “I’LL HEAL BY MYSELF – THE CESARE FUMAGALLI AUTOBIOGRAPHY” EDITED BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

The first national presentation of the book “Io mi guarirò”“I’ll heal by myself / Cesare Fumagalli Autobiography“- edited by Roberto Alborghetti and published by Marna-Velar, will take place in Lenno (Lake Como, Italy) in the evocative and wonderful Piazza February 11. The meeting will be held on Wednesday August 22, 2012 (starting at 9 pm), in the presence of the protagonist of the book and the editor of the work, as part of summer events promoted by the City of Lenno and the Tremezzina Municipalities Union.

LENNO, ON LAKE COMO, WILL HOST THE NATIONAL PRESENTATION OF “I’LL HEAL BY MYSELF – THE CESARE FUMAGALLI AUTOBIOGRAPHY” EDITED BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

It’s not by accident that “I’ll heal by myself” – a title that can not fail to attract attention from the title – will be premiered in Lenno. Indeed, the volume has been prepared, in his first draft, exactly in Lenno one year ago. The landscape and climate of the beautiful resort on the Lake Como were the background for the preparation of a work that chronicles the life, in some ways extraordinary, of Cesare Fumagalli.

A book, indeed, to tell a human story with often painful and dramatic implications. In his autobiography, Cesare Fumagalli traces the key moments of his seventy years, childhood, the terrible years of war time, the hard work, physical disability, marriage, children, the painful experience, an encounter with his master Pino, recovery, rebirth, trips to the beautiful island of Tonga, the discovery of its ability to massage, the treatment of many people with acupressure, his passion for art and painting, the deepening of Hamer’s German New Medicine, the power and effects of fasting on physical well-being, until the day of those implacable report and diagnosis… A cancer to be surgered ​as soon as possible. Cesare reacted using the knowledge acquired in his experiences, convinced – like Marie Curie said – that in life there is nothing to fear, but only to understand.

IO MI GUARIRO’ (I’LL HEAL BY MYSELF”) – THE BOOK COVER

Fumagalli’s autobiography was titled “I’ll heal by myself”. But there’s nothing to be equivocated. Among the pages you will find nothing miraculous and wondrous, or anything likely to be misled by a painful personal history, weighted and metabolized by that positive energy coming from people who love life. “I’ll heal by myself” – Roberto Alborghetti writes in the opening pages – is a beautiful and intense expression that refers to all that potential that is inherent in every human being, a force that sometimes we forget to hold and put in motion and in play .

” I’ll heal by myself” tells us about an objective reality: we do not need a “miracle”, but a healthy, wholesome personal awareness about our ability to react and re-build. Cesare Fumagalli autobiography reminds us that “going forward” in life, means practicing skills, knowledge and perseverance which – together with faith, the power to dream and hope –  are the key to our evolution.       

Therefore, it’s not to be missed this event in Lenno, on Lake Como, in the beautiful and recently renovated square where the Romanesque Baptistery stands as an ideal setting for a book that is a story of hope and confidence in life.  

 The book is only in Italian language, but Marna-Velar is planning an English version for E-book market.

www.iomiguariro.wordpress.com/

ONE OF THE BEAUTIFUL PAINTINGS CREATED BY CESARE FUMAGALLI

JONATHAN E. RADDATZ ART: “EMPHASIZING THE SYMBOLIC”

 

I had the way to approach Jonathan Raddatz Art. He’s an artist living in Quebec (Canada). Through web we had interesting ideas exchanges about art and its future (some suggestions will be the arguments for one of my next posts). Jonathan loves to paint as self-expression. His aims “are anchored in a desire to work out theological and philosophical concerns in peace and quiet, away from the mindless consumption and selfish concerns that consume us all on a daily basis”. I invite you to have a look at his artgallery in Verdun-Montreal (Quebec, Canada) and at his web GALERIE EX-NIHILO: you’ll be struck by a talented artist who tells us the power, the energy and the mystery of colors and materials. I’ve asked Jonathan Raddatz to write something about his artistic statement. He send me an articulated and profound reflection that I’m very glad to share here.    

Faith and Myth are the key operative terms that fuel my work”

 by Jonathan E. Raddatz

TOURIST BROCHURE

There is a facet of my art that can safely be qualified as ‘Expressionist Realism’ (landscapes, cityscapes from my corner or the world and so forth). This work is all about technical rigor and self-discipline. It is about taming the beast and conscientiously applying myself to duplicating what I see concretely before my eyes. When I work in this fashion, I will often carve out the lines in my motif, while stressing the surface with fire and grindstone; this is why I gravitate to wood as a surface medium for these pieces. I have a great affection for two places in particular, and these

are the primary subjects for what I like to call my moments of relative composure: My neighborhood, St-Henri, for its history, the riot of colours, because everything sags and because the light here reverberates in a very particular way; and Parry Sound, Ontario, where the Canadian Shield crashes into the Georgian Bay and where I spent many happy moments as a child. These are all places where the rhythm of the land…our land, strikes a deep spiritual chord with me. This work is largely free of intellectual baggage in the sense that the whole process exists to ‘take a holiday’ from my brain. When I paint ‘the little things’, it is usually to come up for air, to breathe life and clarity into my lungs and convey singular instants of beauty, often found in the mundane.

 TRAVELER ITINERARY

Today’s deconstructionists propose that all categories of art are arbitrary and sight is a pleasure. If this is true then art should break the rules of this most unfortunate modern convention of ‘super flat’ sensory indulgence by exploring, in pragmatic terms, the predatory nature of the senses and how these are linked to the ‘human condition’, which we might as well come right out and qualify as the ‘despotic condition’.

Now, while our pseudo-egalitarian civilization insists that all art is meaningful (the meaning being: here is someone articulating his/her existence), I argue that only art that successfully conveys its meaning – that is to say, the motive BEHIND asserting ones existence in this manner – is (in my less than humble view) – valid (or ‘true’) art, as art of this nature is, by definition, about marrying function to aesthetic in order to tap into a meaning that points beyond itself. That is why ‘true’ art is not to be confused with ‘decorative’ art. The first points beyond itself and is more akin to the workings of religion and philosophy, the other is purely functional: to please, soothe, or clutter the senses. This statement is not meant to devalue decorative art (at any rate, in art, there is always a carry-over) but rather to make a distinction between painting the subject versus painting what lies beyond the subject.

Thus, my ‘true’ artistic enterprise is not to be contained or otherwise pigeon-holed by relativist labels such as ‘abstract’ or ‘contemporary neo-symbolism’ or other such nonsensical terms that seek to rationalize that which does not seek to be experienced in a rational manner. Nor is this enterprise going to satisfy itself by becoming predictable in technique and style. I leave that to the post-Warhol stylists. The name of my game is SUBJECT MATTER.

 To quote Rothko directly: ‘there is no such thing as a good painting about nothing. We assert that subject is crucial and only that subject matter which is tragic and timeless is valid. That is why we profess a spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art.’ My abstract (or otherwise metaphorical) art is profoundly anti-rational. This is fitting since good art, like good propaganda, is precisely that because it circumvents reason completely. The only rational act I imbibe in my pieces is the act of giving them a title, which is done before the business of painting and after much contemplation in regards to the piece about to be painted.

 Faith and Myth are the key operative terms that fuel my work. Any talk of faith must abandon all pretence of objectivity, which makes art a useful vehicle to explore these questions, as art, while pretending to be a lot of things, at least does not pretend to be objective. Anything objective processed by humans ceases to be such the moment we contemplate it, and this is most likely due to our inherently dualistic nature, which is understood to be fallible in every sense of the term. Hence, notions of human depravity, faith and salvation can only be discussed subjectively while remaining objective concepts in and of themselves. Their truth permeates human existence but is often ungraspable by the temporal senses and even less so by language, with all it’s cultural bias. And so, we are left with symbols, which defy logic and transcend reason by their ability to sustain paradox; this is why my art emphasizes the symbolic. Faith is a mythical language, expressing ideas that defy scientific materialism.

Although abstract, symbols are the Rosetta Stone of faith. Through this endeavour I am sharing an irrational reality felt most keenly during the creative process. This grand realm is made of a mythical causality of numinous yet fleshy themes that fully transcend moral and scientific relativism. I’m talking here about theodicy, defilement and variants on sacrifice. This mythical causality is what Rothko refers to when he speaks of timeless tragedy as the agent that binds humans to their cause and condition. And so I ask, what is the cosmic variable responsible for this timeless tragedy?

 I am ceaselessly amazed when I encounter the increasingly pervasive, dangerously optimistic view of the human condition that is currently fashionable in the west. The kind of hype (‘yes we can!’) that utterly ignores the unprecedented level of violence and depravity played out during the course of the previous century and showing no signs of waning in the opening decade of the current one.

 Warm, fuzzy pseudo-messianic utopias of this type (history offers countless examples), require that we ignore the machinations of human history as it actually plays out. This history does not exactly reinforce the utopic view that humans can all miraculously come together in some sort of global group hug and resolve our problems by our own efforts or accord, most particularly in a degraded environment of want, where resources are dwindling while populations explode. History tells us that under these conditions, humans go to war and rip each other to pieces over the meager spoils.

 Trying to ‘Disneyfy’ this reality into something more palatable is adolescent naiveté at its worst and if it continues unchecked in our times, it will be the end of this civilization. Art’ states Bergson, ‘brings us into our own presence’, while St-Theresa of Avila said: ‘I require only that you look.’

A few words regarding titling…Titling is very relevant to my abstract/metaphorical work, they direct the viewer to the subject. If the pieces where not titled as literary essays, you might not link symbols and subject. Literary references are often present to indicate where the viewer might direct further inquiries. If you want to enjoy the art on your own terms and remain unaffected by my concerns, preserve your ignorance by ignoring my titles. If ‘getting’ the artist’s point is important to you, my titles contain messages that are unlikely to misguide of confuse.

 Regarding Materials…The primal notion of spirit being contained in matter plays a significant role in my creative process. Many ingredients of a widely varying nature go into my paintings. My choices of material are often made for technical reasons (the need for texture and so forth), however, the process is anything but superficial. Found objects, metals, melted jewelry, currency, animal and human hair, dirt, compost, brick, stone, blood, sand, insects, bones, ash… All these things and more find their way into or onto my canvas. Sometimes items are ground to a powder or burned for ash, or otherwise preserved in some recognizable form. Sometimes they are meant to be seen and form part of the motif; other times, they remain unseen but are included as a pigment base. More often than not, my choice of ingredients is directly related to the subject or a symbol pertaining to the subject.

 J.E Raddatz

http://www.galerieexnihilo.com/

DAPHNE HUGHES ABSTRACT: EXPLORING MATERIALS AND SURFACE TEXTURES

  

 

I knew Daphne Hughes during last Parallax AF in London, at La Galleria (October 2011). She was one of my fellow exhibitors. “Regenerations” was the title of the works she showed there. Daphne presented me a book – “End of the line, A painters journey” – in which she tells her experience in Art. Daphne lives in the South East of England (Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire). She is a Contemporary Artist creating large Abstract paintings based on her photography.

I was really struck by her works. Daphne loves to explore the minute details of surfaces inherent in objects that surround us. She captures images and exposes their complex surface textures, observing and translating these qualities into paintings. She uses to create large scale fabrications of texture or movement. Each painting is unique and original with strong visual qualities, and by their nature create a tactile response by the use of mixed and diverse mediums.

Daphne worked on a series of large paintings inspired by the discarded object and corroded materials in the environment. She interprets and captures the spirit of their unconventional displacement and existence into paintings in her own unique style.

Daphne Hughes says: “I am a Contemporary Artist passionate about my work. My paintings are predominately abstract with rich surface qualities. I have a strong interest in Photography, and my work is based on the exploration of minute details of surfaces inherent in objects that surround us. I capture images and expose their complex surface textures and their comprehensive and intrinsic worth, observing and translating these qualities into paintings. From the photographs I take their descriptive values and compositional potential which I then interpret into paintings that encapsulate their unintentional beauty. It is the translation of the original images that promotes and manifests. A response and a passion to paint an enhanced physical version, intensifying the original qualities”.

 www.dh-abstract.co.uk

 busby_54@hotmail.co.uk

 

 

 

STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM OF SAINT PETERSBURG: NEW TOOLS TO PROMOTE RUSSIAN ART AND CULTURE

  

The State Hermitage Museum is a museum of art and culture founded in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1764 by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great. Today, the collection comprises nearly 3 million paintings, graphic works, sculptures and works of applied art, archaeological finds and numismatic material. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors.

Now, Paragon Software Group (PSG) (http://www.paragon-software.com/ ) the leading backup, disaster recovery and cross-platform solutions software developer, is pleased to announce that the publishing department of The State Hermitage Museum (http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/index.html) of St. Petersburg, Russia, uses Paragon Software’s cross-platform utility NTFS for Mac OS X 9.5 (http://www.paragon-software.com/home/ntfs-mac/index.html ) on their Mac computers to gain instant access to works of photographers saved on media of various formats, including Windows, while preparing catalogs and other printed materials for the museum. NTFS for Mac OS X 9.5 is one utility in Paragon’s major cross-platform product line based on Paragon’s Universal File System Driver (UFSD) (http://www.paragon-software.com/technologies/ufsd.html)

 “Our utility NTFS for Mac OS X 9.5 is widely used in publishing businesses around the world. The cross-platform software erases the boundaries between incompatible file systems, most often between Windows and Mac OS X, running any materials in Windows format on a Mac without the usual delays in the rhythm of the production process,” commented Natia Kartvelishvilli, Director of Business Development of Paragon Software Group. “It is our special pride that Russia’s largest museum, our national heritage, the State Hermitage Museum, uses Paragon’s tool to produce their catalogs and brochures to promote the art and culture of Russia.”

 

The publishing department of the State Hermitage Museum celebrates its 80th anniversary in fall 2012, having published exhibition catalogues, scientific papers, archeological findings and much more throughout its lengthy history. Today, the museum employs several authors who publish more than 50 book titles a year under the State Hermitage imprint.

 When publishing catalogues and brochures, the museum includes works of photographers submitted on multimedia devices of different formats, most often Windows. Common incompatibility issues arise when transferring these photographs to the museum’s Mac systems. With Paragon’s cross-platform technology, barriers between multimedia devices and media file systems are eliminated, allowing users to enjoy multimedia devices that can write data to and read data from external media of any file system. Paragon’s UFSD technology makes it possible to process unsupported partitions to browse contents, read and modify files, copy and create new files and folders, and more, while maintaining high-performance read/write access and speedy file transfers.

 

ABOUT PARAGON SOFTWARE GROUP

Paragon Software Group is an innovative software developer focused on two dynamic growth markets. The company’s comprehensive product line for the data storage market addresses the needs of data security, storage and management for PCs, servers and networks. A second portfolio of products focuses on mobile productivity applications for handheld devices. Founded in 1994, Paragon Software has offices in the USA, Germany, Japan, and Russia, delivering its solutions to consumers, small business and enterprise clients worldwide through a network of Value Added Resellers, distributors and OEMs as well as online through the company website. Paragon Software provides technology to a host of world class companies and partners including Cisco, Dell, Toshiba, NEC, Siemens, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, and more.

 Availability:

Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X 9.5 is available for USD 19.95, EUR 14.95 or GBP 12.95, and can be downloaded at http://www.paragon-software.com/home/ntfs-mac/. Owners of Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X 9.0 may upgrade to version 9.5 for free.

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